Zak Bagan’s NecroFusion
Each one of the 11 tracks on NecroFusion not only tells the story of a departed soul who, for whatever reason, has not crossed over, but includes an actual audio message from the spirit – “electronic voice phenomena,” or EVP, as fans of the show know all too well. Armed with his SB7 Spirit Box, a recording device present at every GAC lockdown, Zak has encountered inhabitants of the spirit world during these investigations, has reached out to communicate with and question them, and then, when a spirit chose to communicate, he recorded the spirits’ EVPs.
For this album, Zak worked closely with Praga Khan, a legendary pioneer of post-industrial-electronic dance music. The duo structured every song around a specific incident when Zak had a ghostly encounter and worked to have the music and lyrics reflect the tone of the spirits’ voices. Zak wrote the lyrics and provided the earthbound spoken word/vocals for the tracks, while Khan wrote and recorded the music at his Brussels studio between mid-2011 and early summer 2012.
“Working on this album was one great experience from start to finish,” said Khan. “When Zak came up with the idea to record an album with EVPs, I was both surprised and excited. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. When he sent me the audio files that he had recorded with his Spirit Box and I listened to them, I really freaked out. This was scary stuff.”
“For me,” said Zak, “spirit communication is the most powerful communication I’ve ever encountered. The most powerful messages are delivered through music, and music truly influences the way you feel, it stimulates the emotional memories of your life. With “NecroFusion,” we’ve blended together these 2 powerful forms of communication – spirit and music. And the earthbound spirits have a lot to say.”
The result is abstract, sinister, illuminating and haunting.
At 3 a.m. every night for 3 weeks, Zak conducted recording sessions in his home dungeon where Poltergeist activity is common. He recorded 2 spirits there, and their communication led to the track “In My Dungeon.” For the track, “Good and Evil,” Zak established intelligent, 2-way communication with a spirit, and he carries on an extended conversation with another spirit on “Immortal Portal.”
“On some of the songs,” Bagans explained, “you’ll hear me communicating with the spirits. Probably the most emotional track on the album for me is ‘Sing with Me.’ I deliberately asked a female spirit to sing for me, and she did, we actually got her to sing.”
“Maybe it was a coincidence, but a lot of strange stuff happened during the making of the album,” added Khan. “Audio files started to disappear, files that I never deleted, the computer started to crash daily, my sound technician got really sick a few days after the start of the album and ended up in the hospital. But the strangest thing of all was that the cat who was practically living in our studio, simply refused to enter the building while we were working on the 'NecroFusion' album.”
Big fans of each other’s work – Khan catches episodes of Ghost Adventures in Belgium, while Zak discovered Lords of Acid while in high school – they connected via Twitter last year, and began to discuss working together. For their first collaboration, Zak recorded vocals for “Paranormal Energy,” a song for the Lords of Acid album “Deep Chills” working with Grammy-winning producer Chris Vrenna (Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson). The song hit the Top 5 on iTunes’ Electronic Music Dance chart.
“I want more people to hear what the spirits have to say,” said Zak. “Spirits want to be heard, that’s why they’re not at rest. They want to be heard.”